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Thread: Flash Memory Cards

  1. #1

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    Flash Memory Cards

    Sorry, another quick question,

    For digital SLRs are there any cards that are "best" for photography? I'm currently looking at a CoreMicro 32GB SDHC Class 6 Memory Card, as my understanding is that "class 6" is currently the fastest card available. Can anyone confirm / deny / expand on this?

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    Re: Memory Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    Sorry, another quick question,

    For digital SLRs are there any cards that are "best" for photography? I'm currently looking at a CoreMicro 32GB SDHC Class 6 Memory Card, as my understanding is that "class 6" is currently the fastest card available. Can anyone confirm / deny / expand on this?
    Funny that you should raise this point ...

    I had the opportunity to grab an Adata 16GB Class 6 SDHC card for my Canon 1D3 (at a good price) ... my 8GB Sandisk Extreme IV CF card can write about 1 x 25MB image per second ... by comparison the SDHC card is about 1 image per 5 seconds ... slow as a wet week.

    I'm sure that I read on Wikipedia that "Class 6" stood for 6mb/s (which would seem about right), but I think that some SDHC cards are up to around 30 mb/s -- so I'm not sure how that ties in with "Class 6".

    Personally, I'm going to try a collegues Sandisk SDHC card and if it's noticeably faster than my existing ("budget brand") one then I'll probably upgrade. So - no hard and fast evidence yet, but on the face of it there seems like a big variation between SDHC cards - Class 6 doesn't seem to mean it's fast - and I suspect that "you get what you pay for".

    I'd be interested to hear facts and figures from others ...

  3. #3

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    Re: Memory Cards

    The pick of the Sandisk SDHC cards at the moment is the Extreme III SDHC 30Mb/s, comes in a variety of sizes, the 4Gb size is around AU$60.00 (varies) at the moment, a couple of months ago they were around AU$80.

    Note, some cameras can't utilise the full speed of these cards.

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    Re: Memory Cards

    Hi all,

    I use Sandisk exclusively and have one 4GB Extreme III 30GB/s card and 4 x 8GB Ultra II 15GB/s card.

    My reasoning for these choices;
    My camera is only 12MP and produces 10-11MB RAW files, so ...
    I can fit between 700 and 750 RAW images on an 8GB card
    It doesn't take long to change a card, especially if you think ahead
    Any card may fail sometime, I'd rather lose 750 images than say 3,000 (if I used a 32GB card)
    Sandisk has a good reputation, and I've never ... no I am not going to say it!

    My main reason for buying the Extreme III was to get the download code for the free file recovery programme, which I'd heard was good. Well that and to do comparative speed tests. (not done yet ). Also not needed ... (almost said it)

    Note that the speed issue only becomes critical when the buffer fills, so (on my camera) I get 7 RAW in the buffer at the max 4fps, how often do I need more than that? Rarely (so far).

    I guess I would test by shooting a well lit analogue stopwatch with a 1/10 second sweep hand and effectively see how many images I could get on the cards (15GB/s or 30GB/s) in a set period, say 20 seconds, that I know will cause buffer overflow. Now, who has such a stopwatch? Not me

    Hope that helps,

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    Re: Memory Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi all,

    I use Sandisk exclusively and have one 4GB Extreme III 30GB/s card and 4 x 8GB Ultra II 15GB/s card.
    *** sigh ***, if only it were true! (I think you mean MB/s)

  6. #6
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Memory Cards

    Nah, mine download the lot (all 8GB) in 0.5 seconds, don't yours work that fast?

    *** if only *** indeed



    I suppose the other, less relevant timing test would be that of how quick they come off the card and go into PC, but that's got so many other dependencies (OS, disk space free (and frag' factor), software used, etc.) it doesn't bear thinking about.

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    Re: Memory Cards

    I use Sandisk and Lexar cards. I recommend no bigger than 8GB and you can get some good deals with rebates. But cards do eventually go bad, and I'm not comfortable with putting all your eggs in one basket. Cheaper to replace a good sale of 3 pack 8GB cards (any speed) than one 16GB+ card because you have others to fall back upon.

    A variety of speeds is good to save money. You don't need to have a pocket full of Extreme IVs unless you shoot a lot of actions and sports like I do. Extreme II's and III's are more than adequate for daily photography.
    Last edited by Amberglass; 28th July 2009 at 03:03 PM. Reason: corrections

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    Re: Memory Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    I suppose the other, less relevant timing test would be that of how quick they come off the card and go into PC, but that's got so many other dependencies (OS, disk space free (and frag' factor), software used, etc.) it doesn't bear thinking about.
    A lot of people mention this, but personally, I just chuck the card in the reader - point the DNG converter at it (to transfer, rename, and convert the images all in one fell swoop), and whilst it's "doing it's thing" I'm busy cleaning/checking filters, repacking gear, draining salt water out of my tripod etc - so it's usually done well before I am

  9. #9

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    Re: Memory Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by Amberglass View Post
    I use Sandisk and Lexar cards. I recommend no bigger than 8GB and you can get some good deals with rebates. But cards do eventually go bad, and I'm not comfortable with putting all your eggs in one basket. Cheaper to replace a good sale of 3 pack 8GB cards (any speed) than one 16GB+ card because you have others to fall back upon.
    I've heard this from a number of people but, personally, I think there are other variables that enter the equasion such as;

    - The consequences of a card going bad (in my case I'd just reshoot the next day)

    - The risks associated with changing and managing cards in the field (easy enough in some circumstances, not so easy when your in 3 feet of salt water wearing waders, and only one pocket (in which I managed to write off a cell phone in when I fell over in salt water).

    Additionally, for the likes of wedding photography, we face an additional issue -- even when changing cards so that all eggs are not in one basket, which part of the day can one afford to miss due to a card malfunction (the formals? the ceremony?) ... personally, my belief is that the ONLY acceptable professional standard for "failure is not an option" type events is to use a dual media camera (as I do anyway, but as a (primarily) landscape shooter my 2nd slot is configured to take-over after the first card fills, not to duplicate all images. A wedding-shooting collegue in the same situation however has gone from swapping cards to using a pair of large-capacity cards in his 1D3 (so the images are duplicated), and prefers this workflow.

    A variety of speeds is good to save money. You don't need to have a pocket full of Extreme IVs unless you shoot a lot of actions and sports like I do. Extreme II's and III's are more than adequate for daily photography.
    In practice, most cards have got to the point where they're waaay faster than the camera - My Extreme IV is rated at 45mb/s ... Extreme III's are rated at 30mb/s ... and yet my 1Ds3 and (when I had it) 1D3 maxed out at around 15mb/s ... I'm presently very close to dropping the 8GB Extreme IV and replacing it with a 32GB Extreme III CF, paired with an Extreme III 32GB SDHC card (when I can get one) ... 4 times the capacity of the CF, no difference in speed.

  10. #10
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    Re: Memory Cards

    It all depends on the photographer's "budget" and their "needs".

    Everyone's shooting needs will be different including workflow. Always do what's best for you, and not by copying others as an old mentor once said to me. Only you will know what's works best for you.

    I shoot with a Nikon D3 (dual CF slots) as my primary and a D700 as my second (not backup) for sporting and social events where "failure is not an option". My work can/is very fast pace that I can not even afford time in changing out lenses sometimes. Absolutely no retakes or instant replays in my field. Once an opportunity is gone. It's gone.

    For my work flow of very long day(s) events, I actually have an assistant whom I hand off one of my cameras as it reaches full, she replaces my card in the camera, and download the images to a 160 GB stand alone memory storage device, and then clears the cards if necessary. Keeping only the key events cards as secondary backup. Even the most careful of people can have cards lost or stolen.

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    Re: Memory Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by Amberglass View Post
    I actually have an assistant whom I hand off one of my cameras as it reaches full
    I wish I had an assistant - just can't find anyone willing to getup at 4:30 am and help me carry bags of gear across jagged rocks by torchlight, and then stand in sea water for a couple of hours waiting for dawn!

  12. #12

    Re: Memory Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    personally, my belief is that the ONLY acceptable professional standard for "failure is not an option" type events is to use a dual media camera (as I do anyway, but as a (primarily) landscape shooter my 2nd slot is configured to take-over after the first card fills, not to duplicate all images. A wedding-shooting collegue in the same situation however has gone from swapping cards to using a pair of large-capacity cards in his 1D3 (so the images are duplicated), and prefers this workflow.

    In practice, most cards have got to the point where they're waaay faster than the camera - My Extreme IV is rated at 45mb/s ... Extreme III's are rated at 30mb/s ... and yet my 1Ds3 and (when I had it) 1D3 maxed out at around 15mb/s ... I'm presently very close to dropping the 8GB Extreme IV and replacing it with a 32GB Extreme III CF, paired with an Extreme III 32GB SDHC card (when I can get one) ... 4 times the capacity of the CF, no difference in speed.
    I agree with using dual media cameras. Other examples of dual media cameras include Nikon d3 and d3x.

    Write speed of cameras depends on the camera. Nikon d300, d700, d3, d3x all write extremely fast. With good cards like the Sandisk Ducati 4GB, a d3 writes at approximately 30mb/s. On the other hand, the canon 1ds writes at ~20mb/s. This is almost 2/3s the speed of the nikon.

    Source: http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/con...id=7-9309-9398

    My aim is to dispute what colin said rather, it is to inform you that some cameras are capable of maxing out the card.

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    Re: Memory Cards

    Very true BlazingFire. Most media photographers uses bodies with mega pixel of 10-15 instead of 24, because it's all about speed. Extreme IIIs can not keep up with D3 and D700, will lag when shooting in RAW though still pretty fast. In JPEG, they both sound like a machine gun going off.

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    Re: Memory Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by Blazing fire View Post
    My aim is to dispute what colin said rather, it is to inform you that some cameras are capable of maxing out the card.
    I think you meant to say "My aim is not to dispute ..."

    From what I've read, the 2 top Nikons are indeed faster at clearing the buffer. I did some formal tests when I had the 1D3 and it came out at exactly 15mb/s - I didn't do anything quite as formal with the 1Ds3, but somewhere along the way I think I worked out that it was about the same throughput (which isn't surprising since it's essentially the same architecture) - that's still with an Extreme IV card, but not UDMA enabled (as far as I know). I'm aware of the updated RG database, but have to say that I got vastly different results using SDHC.

    In reality though, it's seldom a problem - the 1D3 has a 30 frame RAW buffer, and if you had to have longer bursts than that, then it becomes unlimited using JPEG set to quality 8 out of 10 (which is still VERY high quality). If anyone needs more than that then I'd have to ask if they're shootings stills or a movie!

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    Re: Memory Cards

    I am now becoming confused, and so I went to Samy's Camera and purchased a Dane Elec HDHC Class 4 8 GB card for about $24.00 and I am now taking pictures. To this point it seems to work well. I also have Sandisk card and I will use it as a extra if needed.

    Mal Stevens
    (Eightohms)
    Last edited by Eightohms; 12th August 2009 at 10:52 PM. Reason: The numeral 8 is on a line that is not with GB

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    Re: Memory Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by Eightohms View Post
    I am now becoming confused, and so I went to Samy's Camera and purchased a Dane Elec HDHC Class 4 8 GB card for about $24.00 and I am now taking pictures. To this point it seems to work well. I also have Sandisk card and I will use it as a extra if needed.

    Mal Stevens
    (Eightohms)
    Hi Mal,

    Now I'm confused - what are you confused about?

  17. #17

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    Re: Memory Cards

    Here's an interesting site, click on the drop down menu and select your camera.
    http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/mul...e.asp?cid=6007


    EDIT. Sorry, I see the link has been posted before.

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    Re: Memory Cards

    thats quite the site. i looked up my camera and found the cards i have to be be way above the speeds the camera can achieve, even the older smaller ones.

    i do have a concern now though; i have a friends wedding coming up that i will be shooting, a first for me, and im concerned that i will lose images to faulty cards. a couple of the cards i have have corrupted and done strange things to entire days of shooting. but i cant seem to get them to do it consistently. i think i know the answer but will ask anyway, would it be safe to continue to use these cards or call them done?

    also i have the following cards: sandisk extreme 3 4gb, ultra 2 4gb, ultra 2 2gbx2, and promaster 2gb. all have been shot and formated in my d70s.

  19. #19

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    Re: Memory Cards

    Sandisk have a very good reputation for reliability. For what it's worth I use nothing else.

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    Re: Memory Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by starsage56 View Post
    i have a friends wedding coming up that i will be shooting, a first for me, and im concerned that i will lose images to faulty cards. a couple of the cards i have have corrupted and done strange things to entire days of shooting. but i cant seem to get them to do it consistently. i think i know the answer but will ask anyway, would it be safe to continue to use these cards or call them done?
    Many don't agree with me when I say this - but I'll say it anyway ...

    In my opinion, if a photographer is shooting a wedding as a paid professional then I feel that they have a professional obligation to follow "best practice" and again, in my opinion, since weddings are "failure is not an option" type events, this means using dual media cameras, with reliable media.

    Just for the record, I appreciate that that possibly doesn't quite apply in your case (as you did mention, it's a friend's wedding, and you may not be there in a professional / paid capacity), but it none-the-less is still a "failure is not an option" type event. Some suggest spreading the images over several cards (which has it's own set of risks) - additionally, one might ask (if using this philosophy) then which part of the day is it acceptable to lose due to a faulty card? (ceremony? formals?). Just my thoughts - not aiming them at you

    In terms of your question about your existing cards - no brainer in my opinion. Cards are dirt cheap these days, and they don't last forever anyway. Chuck em all in the bin - and go purchase a few Sandisk Ultra II's or Extreme III's. Be sure to format them in the camera. Lexar are also OK for Nikons, but there are documented issues with some in Canons.

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